Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chin Up

I haven’t written anything here for quite some time now. That on its own isn’t a good reason to write something; there’s nothing worse than speaking just to hear yourself talk. So that’s not why I’m doing this. I feel it’s about time I post something happier (for a change), and to follow up on a few things that have been going on for me.

How it started

So, the feel-good start to this is how this weekend went. Friday night was an impromptu game night, so not a whole lot to write home about. Saturday was when the real fun began, though. I headed up to San Francisco with some friends to try a whiskey bar before another friend’s housewarming. I tried a couple bourbons, but didn’t catch the whole name of the one I preferred. Oh well; I’ll figure it out later.

The housewarming was an excellent time, with a great mix of people I did know and new people I didn’t. While events with 30 people tend to be quite noisy—and my voice is still a bit raw—it was entertaining. Complete with a fake fireplace video! Some friends brought dates, and the happiness was nearly tangible, and that always leaves you feeling good. (Well, unless you’re terribly bitter like my college friends might have expected.)

This was then followed by an unplanned movie night since, sadly, I had not seen The Big Lebowski. So, both because it fit the mood and so everyone could educate me, that went on until about 3:30 in the morning. Since the buses weren’t running, we stayed the night and slept until about 7:30 when city sounds and general restlessness woke the remaining few up.

Thanking our final host from the prior evening, who was pleasant but clearly still exhausted, we headed for the bus. It took us about 20 minutes to get back to where our car was, and being 8:30 in the morning we decided (although not decisively) to grab breakfast before ultimately heading our separate ways. The food was delicious (and, perhaps, a bit too rich to finish), as was the company.

I finally got home about 11:30 in the morning, and promptly fell asleep into a much-needed nap following the late night and early morning.

Why this story?

There’s a takeaway here that I wanted to point out. This morning was the most pleasant I’ve had in a long time, but there was nothing terribly exotic. Just a quiet morning and tasty breakfast with friends after a fun evening. I often get caught up in my own life with work and ties to people located far away, and I suspect I’m not alone in that. I think I should make a point of starting days like this more often.

The other reason for this story is like I said before: I need to share happier insights rather than the stream of sad stories that typically appear here. It’s true that things aren’t always rosy. I’ll avoid enumerating them all, since it’s documented in the archives here, but there’s another footnote to add.

Like I shared with some of my friends before leaving San Francisco this morning, my grandmother has been in the hospital this week for surgery. We found out a few months ago that she had cancer, and it was removed this week. My reaction to the news has been rather muted, but here’s why:

First, it was caught early, and nothing about the prognosis seemed terribly dire. Unless I had hard evidence that things were going to get worse, I decided to keep going and expect the best. Let’s not kid ourselves—modern medicine is downright amazing. So I’m hopeful, not despondent.

I’ve of course done what I can to spend time with family (particularly over Christmas), since there are never any guarantees, but the bigger point is that I think it’s important to keep enjoying the good things about your own life (like the above story) even through adverse times.

For some reason or another, waiting for slumbering friends to awaken this morning, I decided to queue up my Styx album and listen to that. I didn’t get very far at the time, but it’s put me on a Styx binge the rest of the day, and despite the sadness in some of the songs, they make me feel happy in general.

With things like winter camping, skiing, concerts, theater shows, and more potential endeavors in the near future, there’s so much to be happy about. So even though sad things happen, there’s generally more promise in the future than sorrow in the past.

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